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Native to Portugal, Netherlands, Germany (Hamburg), England, North America, Brazil
Extinct estimated early 19th century
fewer than 2,000 users in a limited liturgical context
Latin (Portuguese alphabet), Hebrew alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None

Judaeo-Portuguese, or Lusitanic, is the extinct Jewish language that was used by the Jews of Portugal.


It was the vernacular of Sephardi Jews in Portugal before the 16th century and also in many places of the Portuguese Jewish diaspora. Its texts were written in the Hebrew script (aljamiado português) or the Latin alphabet.

As Portuguese Jews intermarried with other expelled Sephards, the language influenced the nearby Judeo-Spanish. Close similarity to Standard Portuguese made Judeo-Portuguese go extinct in Portugal, having survived in everyday usage in the diaspora until the late 18th/early 19th century. Judeo-Portuguese influenced the Papiamento and Saramaccan languages.


Influences from Judaeo-Spanish

Judaeo-Portuguese Portuguese Judaeo-Spanish English meaning
ay ay there is
Dio Deus (arch. Deo) Dio God
manim mãos manos hands

Portuguese archaisms

Judaeo-Portuguese Modern Portuguese English meaning
algũa alguma any
angora agora now
aynda ainda yet
dous dois two
he é is
hũa uma a, an, one

Influences from Hebrew

Judeo-Portuguese Hebrew English meaning
cados קדוש/kadosh holy
jessiba ישיבה/yeshiva Religious School
massó מַצָּה‬/matzah ritual bread
misvá מִצְוָה‬/mitzvah commandments
ros ראש/rosh head
rassim ראשים/rashim heads
rossaná ראש השנה/rosh hashanah Jewish New Year
sabá שבת/Shabbat Saturday
sedacá צדקה/tzedakah charity
queilá קְהִלָה/qehila congregation
quidus קידוש/kiddush blessing over the wine
tebá טבה/tevah central platform in the synagogue

Influences from Greek

Judeo-Portuguese Greek English meaning
esnoga συναγωγη/synagogē synagogue

See also


  • Judaeo-Portuguese in Jewish Language Research Center
  • Thesouro dos Dinim, a halakhic work
  • Thesouro dos Dinim, a halakhic work
  • Menasseh Ben Israel de la fragilidad humana y inclinacion del hombre al peccado. Parte primera
  • Strolovitch, Devon L. (2005) Old Portuguese in Hebrew Script: Convention, Contact, and Convivência. Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

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